Sugar-Free Simple Syrup

Make a lighter version of simple syrup with your favorite sugar substitute, such as Stevia. This is a perfect way to sweeten coffee and tea drinks as well as skinny cocktails and mocktails.

a black spoon in a jar of sugar free simple syrup

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Sugar Free Simple Syrup recipe

Something that’s great about this century we live in is the many choices we have for sugar. One of my family members has Type 1 Diabetes, so I know firsthand how wonderful it is to have sugar substitutes on hand.

Sugar is sweet and wonderful, but it certainly has a number of downsides such as its calories, nutritional value and the way it can spike blood sugar.

Plus, pure sugar goes through a refining process. It’s made from sugar cane, which is processed into a brown syrup with molasses, which is then run through a centrifuge to separate the molasses from the sugar crystals, and is then filtered to make white sugar.

Sugar substitutes can be great for lightening up baked goods and drinks, especially! From stevia to monkfruit, there are so many ways to make healthier choices when it comes to sugar.

I have had several requests over the years to make a sugar-free syrup option to stand in for regular simple syrup in my drink recipes. I used Stevia to make the recipe below, but there are others out there that can work just as well. If it will dissolve in water, you can likely make it into a simple syrup, but you may need to experiment with certain substitutes.

Disclaimer: I am not a dietician or doctor, so please consult yours to explore the best sugar-free substitute for you.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Sugar-free simple syrup is a great recipe to have in your back pocket, either for yourself or for a guest who might not be able to enjoy regular sugar.

  • You can make it with any sugar substitute that can dissolve in water.
  • With just two ingredients, it comes together in less than 10 minutes.
  • It’s an inexpensive and healthier alternative to store-bought cocktail syrups.

Plus, it’s easy to flavor with different types of fruits, spices and herbs. You can use your creations in cocktails, mocktails, desserts, on breakfast foods… the options are endless!

a jar of sugar free syrup

What is simple syrup?

Picture this. You’ve ordered a glass of iced tea and you want to sweeten it.

Pure sugar will take forever. Packets of Sweet-n-Low and Equal have always been easier to mix into a glass of iced tea, but plain sugar is a different story.

A liquid sweetener made with sugar and water, simple syrup is an easy solution to this problem. It is mainly used to sweeten drinks. But you can also flavor it and drizzle it over pancakes or ice cream.

Most simple syrups are made with granulated white sugar, but other types of sugar can be used, including brown sugar.

But what do you do if you want all the benefits of traditional simple syrup but don’t want to take in these refined sugars? Enter the sugar substitutes.

There are a number of ways you can make simple syrup without pure sugar. Let’s explore together.

a mason jar filled with honey simple syrup next to a gold jigger and yellow and white wildflowers

Types of sugar substitutes for drinks

There are a few types of sugar substitutes that work well for making simple syrup, as well as stand on their own. Let’s talk about them.

Honey

Made naturally by bees, honey works well as a natural sweetener for drinks and one of the more simple ingredients in the pantry. But it’s too thick and viscous to stir in on its own. It tends to seize up when it meets something cold, like an ice cube.

The best thing is to make a honey syrup that uses equal parts honey and water.

Be sure to check the label to make sure you are using pure honey and there are no added sugars.

Agave Nectar

Made from the same plant as tequila, agave nectar is a sweet and natural sugar substitute. It is slightly thinner than honey, so it mixes into drinks like the margarita quite well.

Be sure to check the label to make sure you are using pure agave nectar and there are no added ingredients.

Maple Syrup

Everyone knows pure maple syrup because of pancakes, but this amazing sap of the maple tree works well in drinks and as a coffee syrup too.

Not all tree-based syrup comes from the sugar maple though. There are other types of trees that can be sapped to make delicious syrup, such as hickory, walnut, pine or birch syrup.

You don’t need to make a special syrup since it’s already a liquid — it works so well in this maple old-fashioned cocktail.

Once again, be sure to check the label to make sure you are using pure maple syrup and there are no added sugars.

Coconut sugar

Also called coconut palm sugar, this sugar comes from the coconut palm tree. It is said to be more nutritious and lower on the glycemic index than white sugar.

You can use it 1:1 with water to make coconut sugar simple syrup.

stevia packets in a white bowl

Stevia

Stevia is another plant-based natural sweetener on the market. It may seem new to our shelves in the United States, but it has been used for over 200 years in South America. It is said to be 30 times sweeter than sugar.

According to the National Library of Medicine, indigenous people used leaves of the plant to sweeten beverages or chewed them for their sweet taste. The plant leaves, often called “sweet herb,” were dried and used to sweeten teas and medicines or simply chewed as a sweet treat.

These days, zero-calorie stevia is being used to add sugar content to foods and beverages. Since it has no calories or net carbs, Stevia makes a great low carb sweetener and is suitable for a keto diet.

If you follow a low carb diet, this keto syrup is the perfect sugar free sweetener for your favorite cocktails, iced coffee, tea, mocktails and more! You can use it as a direct replacement for regular simple syrup.

Other types

If you wish to explore some other natural sweeteners, you could try one of these to sweeten drinks with:

  • Monk fruit sweetener
  • Date syrup
  • Sweet potato syrup
  • Tapioca syrup

There are also plenty of artificial sweeteners on the market, such as:

  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame K
  • Saccharin
  • Xylitol

These artificial sweeteners often go by their brand names, so be sure to check the label.

a spoon dripping simple syrup into a jar

How to make sugar free syrup

While there are store-bought syrups on the market that mimic classic simple syrup but with less sugar, sometimes they contain corn syrup or artificial ingredients.

I used Stevia to make this a Stevia syrup, but feel free to experiment with other types of sugar substitutes to make your own homemade sugar-free simple syrup. It’s the perfect addition to low carb cocktails!

  1. Add 1 cup of water to a small saucepan over medium heat. (You can also do this in the microwave — all you need is hot water for the stevia to dissolve in.)
  2. Stir in about 10 packets of Stevia sweetener.
  3. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Store airtight, food-safe container such as a mason jar for up to 1 month.

See? That’s how quick it is to make this easy stevia simple syrup. Now you’re ready to mix this keto sweetener into you favorite drinks! You will soon see what a great replacement it is for regular simple syrup.

a black spoon in a jar of sugar free syrup

Sugar-free syrup flavors

Want to try some other flavors? Go for it! Flavored syrup is always a great addition to drinks. Here are a few of my favorites — simply sub in the sugar for your favorite sugar-free substitute:

A great thing to keep in mind is that even though flavored syrups work well for cocktails, coffee and tea drinks but you can also mix drizzle them over pancakes, waffles, French toast and ice cream!

a jar of sugar free syrup

Sugar-Free Simple Syrup

Yield: 8 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Make your own sugar free simple syrup with Stevia.
4.94 from 44 votes
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ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 10 packets stevia (¼ ounce each)

instructions

  • Warm water on the stove over medium heat.
  • Add stevia. Stir until combined. Let cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight, food-safe container in the fridge.

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nutrition information

Yield: 8 ounces

amount per serving:

Serving: 1ounce Calories: 1.0E-5kcal Carbohydrates: 1g Sodium: 1mg Calcium: 1mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

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Comments

  1. Ginger says

    Directions within the article are incorrect…they indicate “add 1 cup of sugar to a small saucepan”. I believe this should read “add 1 cup of water”. Otherwise, this is not sugar-free.

  2. Marian says

    5 stars
    I love making this and I use it in my homemade iced tea and in my iced coffees. It adds just the perfect amount of sweetness without all that guilt.

  3. Pam says

    I’m starting to hate Pinterest. Why can’t we just get the recipe without scrolling through pages of why you like this Receipe and and other information I didn’t ask for or need and 1000 ads popping up all over the place. Even while trying to read the recipe. Ridiculous.

    • Susannah says

      Hey Pam, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment so I’ll take the time to reply. Pinterest is a search engine and you used it to find this recipe. This recipe is on my website, a food blog that is my full-time job, in which I share recipes for FREE. It actually costs quite a lot to run a FREE website for people — and also pay my mortgage and bills, so I run ads to earn money. I’m sorry you find them intrusive; have you considered running an ad blocker?

      You mentioned the information you didn’t ask for: Well, I think if you looked more closely, it’s filled with information on how to make this simple syrup, different kinds of substitutes you can use and how to store it. I’d say that’s pretty useful information that I researched well when I shared this recipe. However, if you don’t need or want to read that kind of stuff, you are welcome to click the “Jump to Recipe” button that is at the top of all of my recipes — and pretty much all food blogs’ recipes too.

      My friend wrote a great article called Why Can’t Food Blogs Just “Give me the recipe”? — she answers all of this more in-depth. I hope you find it educational and think twice before leaving a comment like this again. I’m a real person and so are the food bloggers whose recipes are all over Pinterest.

      Cheers,
      Susannah

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